Directory of Consumer Driven Services
Program Information
Program Name: Zuzu's Place
Year the Program was Started: 2001
Public Contact Person: Daniel Kriegman
Address: 20 Dorcar Road
Newton, MA 02467
Telephone #: 617-527-1631
Fax #: 617-527-0995
Email Address:
Website URL:
Program Category: Housing
Target Participants:
Program Setting:
Program Owned or Leased Facility (leased store front, community residence)
Annual Program Budget: $40,000-$70,000
Number of staff: Paid Full-Time: None
Paid Part-Time: None
Volunteers: 3-5
Consumer involvement in the program
Number of staff members and volunteers who are consumers: Majority
How often do consumer staff and volunteers participate in program decisions? Always
Number of administrators or board members who are consumers: None
Program Training/ Technical Assistance Materials Available: None
Cost for materials? No
Program Goals: Establish cooperative housing run by and for the members who ar psychiatric survivors.
Have any outcomes for this program been assessed through internal or external research? No
Program Mission Statement: ZuZu's Place (the name was inspired by Don White's song, "Angel in Pieces") will eventually be a number of homes for people with a history of serious emotional problems. While overwhelming stress may have resulted in their hospitalization in the past, the members of the Zuzu's Place Cooperatives are committed to independent living--to making their home--outside of the psychiatric system.
Additional Information: Members appreciate the universal human need for community, but do not want to live in a "group home" or other institutional setting run by "staff." For such "psychiatric survivors," there are currently no places in the USA where cooperative living in a supportive community is available outside of institutional, professionally run programs. There appear to be some examples of this type of home in England and Europe and, in the US, cooperative houses that are run by the members do exist. But, these US co-ops typically refuse to accept new members who have had a history of "mental illness." Therefore, if survivors want to join a cooperative community in the US, they have to hide a large part of themselves--and must even lie--merely to be accepted and given a chance. The people coming together to create and live in ZuZu's Place want to be open and honest about their lives, and feel supported by housemates who can relate to and be patient with one another. People who have survived overwhelming emotional experiences know about the need for patience, acceptance, and belonging. Almost invariably they encountered the opposite--judgment, stigmatizing labels, impatience, and rejection--when they were forced to turn to the available sources of care or tried to join independent efforts to form caring, cooperative communities.

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